Where to Nature Journal in South Africa

When you show up for nature, nature shows up for you. 

Wherever you are, some part of the natural environment is close-by.

Nature is in and across all communities from remote rural areas to townships to dense cities. Even in the most built-up areas, you can find nature. Look. Listen. Notice the wind and sun on your skin, plants, insects, birds, landscapes and the sky. If you are inside, look out. 

Look for nature where you live, travel, work, play or go to school.

Wherever you are in South Africa, start your nature journaling journey at home or in a familiar place. If you live in a flat or complex, spend time in the courtyard or flowers beds, look for birds and bugs. If your home or school has a vegetable garden, explore the life in and around it. Many neighbourhoods have parks or public gardens.

There are a vast number of nature-rich, protected spaces throughout the country: national botanical gardens, nature reserves and game reserves. 

 

Explore the wildlife sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres in KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.

 

Seek shelter and comfort indoors, when it is too hot, too cold, too windy or unpleasant outdoors. We added suggestions for indoor nature spaces in KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng. 

We continue to gather new content to expand these lists. Please send us suggestions of your favourite nature spaces. At the moment, we have the following information to share with you.

Parks and Gardens

Parks and gardens provide green spaces in urban areas. Gardens often have set times for opening and closing. Parks are usually open at all times. However, it may be unsafe to visit parks in the early morning, late afternoon and evening. If a park looks neglected, or if you feel unsafe, move to one of the many other options.

The condition of parks and gardens change over time. Only you can assess the safety of a place. Only you know your own risk comfort zone. 

Whether or not a place is suitable for nature journaling depends on you. What do you need? Do you need quiet, calm and a break for crowds and bustle? Does music or people playing ball unsettle your concentration on nature?

Many parks and gardens have peak periods of human activity: weekend afternoons, school holidays, public holidays, etc. Popular public spaces may host events such as concerts, sporting events, walking or bike challenges. Other places are in the midst of vibrant surroundings. This means that they are busy, noisy, and the air quality may be poor.  

If you can, check before you go. If you do not feel at ease when you arrive, find another spot. 

In and Around Durban

In and around Pietermaritzburg

Nature Reserves and Protected Areas

In and around Durban
In and Around Pietermaritzburg and Midlands
KwaZulu-Natal, Southern Regions
KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Regions

KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg

Wildlife Sanctuaries & Rehabilitation Centres

KwaZulu-Natal

   Ballito

 

  Durban

   Between Durban and Pietermaritzburg

  Pietermaritzburg

 

  Port Edward

 

Western Cape

  Plettenberg Bay

Indoor Nature Spaces for Rainy Days

KwaZulu-Natal

  Durban

 

  Ramsgate

Western Cape

   Cape Town

 

  Klapmuts near Paarl

Gauteng

Webcams to View Wildlife and Wildness from Home

Webcams are cameras used with computers for video streaming from the internet. You need high-speed internet to view live webcams. Webcam viewing uses large amounts of bandwidth like streaming any video. Webcams are used in nature settings so that sites can be viewed at any time without having to have a person present. This also allows you to view wildlife behaving naturally. This type of viewing is used in research as well as for enjoyment. It is a great option for nature journaling from home.

This list contains webcams that we have found. Most of the webcams listed below are in South Africa, with some in Botswana and up the east coast in Kenya.

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  • Tembe Elephant Park Tembe National Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal bordering Mozambique. It is also the ancestral home of the Tembe people, who co-own and manage Tembe Elephant Park Lodge. The webcam is live-streamed on the Tembe Elephant Park's webcam and also on Africam

Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Gauteng Province, South Africa
  • Black Eagle webcam, Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden. The mountainous area where they nest each year is under threat of urban development. Visit the website to sign the petition to protect the area.

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